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Spiritual leadership: fulfilling whole-self needs at work Fairholm, Gilbert W . Leadership & Organization Development Journal ; Bradford Vol. 17, Iss. 5, (1996): 11-17. ProQuest document link ABSTRACT The work community is becoming the most significant community for many people. People are coming to expect their work – where they spend most of their time – to satisfy deeply held needs for wholeness and to help provide spiritual support for our values and our aspirations for personal as well as economic growth. This paper reports on original research which supports a growing literature attesting to the centrality of work in meeting both economic and spiritual needs. Spirit refers to the vital, energizing force or principle in the person, the core of self. Respondent managers understand spirit in its secular connotation as defining self meaning and motivation for action. This study begins a definition of a model of leadership based on this kind of spiritual relationship, one founded on morality, stewardship and community. It also lists some critical issues that this emerging leadership model faces. FULL TEXT Gilbert W. Fairholm: Associate Professor of Public Administration, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA Introduction Work has become the centrepiece of our lives. Whether we like it or not, work has become the fountainhead of values in our society, the site of our most useful social contributions. Work is the place where most of us find our sense of full meaning. The organization (community) within which we work is becoming our most significant community. For some, work is replacing family, friendship circles, church and social groups. Yet in 1994 only one in four workers were extremely satisfied with their work compared to 40 per cent in 1973. According to Renesch (1995) more than 40 million people in the US are seeking a more “intrinsically valued” lifestyle and the numbers are growing. While work is critical to economic wellbeing, these numbers suggest that it is not meeting our needs as human beings. It is hard today for many of us to separate our work from the rest of our being. We spend too much of our time at work or in work-related social and leisure activities for us to expect to continue trying to compartmentalize our lives into separate work, family, religious and social domains. As one result, the pressure many of us feel to recognize and respond to the sacred in us must find outlet in the secular workplace. If personal or social transformation is to take place, it will most likely take place at work. For, after all, life is about spirit and we humans carry only one spirit that must manifest itself in both life and livelihood. Research by Jacobson (1994) and confirmed by the author, strongly suggests that mature leaders and other workers in our organizations are seeking more than merely economic rewards on the job. They are redefining work to include satisfaction of their inner needs for spiritual identity and satisfaction. Jacobson’s survey of national PDF GENERATED BY PROQUEST.COM Page 1 of 10 leaders, and the author’s survey of mid-level managers using similar questions, confirm a growing need for workplace cultures, leadership and work processes that celebrate the whole individual with needs, desires, values and a “wanting” spirit self. Respondents in the author’s study unanimously agreed that spirituality is a part of their work lives (see Table I). The recent wave of literature advocating a new age of spiritual awareness attests to this increasingly widespread need. We have obviously reached a point where non-intuitive, leaner, rational management

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